Dublin Zoo

Baby Blackbuck Kicks Up Her Heels

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It's as if she's saying, "I'm here World!" And that is very good news, as this animal is severely threatened.

Last month, in the Kaziranga Forest Trail at the Dublin Zoo, blackbuck parents Honey and Basil welcomed this lively little female - their first offspring. She's also the first ever blackbuck newborn at the Zoo. Team leader Ciaran McMahon said, “We are thrilled with the arrival of our first blackbuck calf. We hope to grow the herd to approximately seven or eight, and the new calf is a great start. The youngster is fit and nimble but still quite shy; however she can be seen bouncing around the elephant habitat between 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. every day.”

Contrary to what their name suggests, the coloring of female calves like this one is a light tan shade. In adulthood, male bucks have striking black and white fur, and two long, twisted horns (they can be as long as 31 inches, or 46 cm), while females are fawn colored and without horns.

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The blackbuck is a species of the antelope and one of the fastest terrestrial animals in the world, reaching speeds of up to 50 miles per hour (80 km/hr). In India, their country of origin, blackbucks live side by side with elephants and at the Dublin Zo, blackbucks also co-habit with their herd of Asian elephants.

Often called the Indian antelope, due to their native range being in Indian subcontinent (which includes Pakistan and Nepal), dramatically decreased, as it was the most hunted animal in the country. Though now Indian laws prohib it hunting the blackbuck to protect this endangered species, there are still incidents of poaching, because it's flesh and skin get quite a high price in the markets. In addition, man continues to encroach upon its habitat, mostly turning it into grazing areas for cattle -- and those cattle also have spread bovine diseases to the blackbuck. In 2008 the population estimate in the wild was estimated to be a startlingly low 184 antelope.


Who Knew - Piglets Smile When They Nap!


Here's a set of baby pictures that just may produce squeals of delight! These nine Tamworth piglets were born in the first week of May, 2011, at the Dublin Zoo's Family Farm to mom Ginger. Five are males and four are female.

Eddie O’Brien, team leader of the Family Farm said, “The piglets are thriving and full of beans. During the first couple of weeks we kept a close eye on the one little runt of the pack, as he was smaller and weaker than the others. There was no need to worry as we soon realized he is equally as fit and able as the rest of his siblings...  He never misses a meal!”

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Photo Credits: Dublin Zoo

Among the oldest of pig breeds, the Tamworth is a domestic pig originating in the UK. They are thought to have descended from wild boars, via native pig stock of Europe. Principal populations today are in the United Kingdom, Australia, USA, New Zealand and Canada. Also called Sandy Backs and Tams, they are listed as "Threatened" in the US and as "Vulnerable" in the UK by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. There are fewer than 300 registered breeding females.

Six Feet of Joy for Dublin Zoo


Dublin Zoo welcomed a newborn Giraffe at 11.45am on Monday morning. The male calf stands tall at 1.8 metres (6 ft) and weighs approximately 40kgs (88 lbs). The giraffe calf will make his first appearance in the African Savanna on Saturday to celebrate Africa Day (21st May). The new arrival joins his mother Hailey, father Robin and sister Kuliko along with the other five Giraffes in the herd.

Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains said, “He is a beautiful strong and healthy calf. He is much paler than his sister Kuliko with splashes of black hair from his knees to his feet.



Photo credits: Dublin Zoo

It's All Smiles at Dublin Zoo!


A four pound bundle of joy arrived at Dublin Zoo Sunday. Mother Lana is guarding her infant Gorilla around the clock and it may be some time before keepers have a chance to get a closer look and determine its sex. Keeper Ciaran McMahon said: "We are over the moon with the birth of the baby Gorilla. The new arrival is a great success for Dublin Zoo as part of the European breeding programme for these critically endangered primates. We are one of a few zoos to have a Gorilla family living together and we can see that the bonds between the group are very strong. The youngster is doing very well, within minutes the baby was feeding from mum, Lena, which is a very good sign. We can tell that the infant is strong because there are a lot of head movements."



Photo credits: Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo's Newest and Tallest Addition!

Yesterday, Dublin Zoo shared the first pictures of its newest arrival, a female Giraffe calf!  The calf, which measures nearly six feet tall, was born to mother Maeve on November 4th at 8.15pm and is yet to be named. This is the first calf born to mother Maeve since she arrived to Dublin Zoo from Fota Wildlife Park in 2009. Maeve successfully bred with bull giraffe Robin and after a 15 month gestation period the new calf was born.

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Dublin Zoo Giraffe Calf 4 Photo credits: Dublin Zoo

Sumatran Tiger Cubs Frolic in Dublin

12,000 - 6,000 years ago, the Sumatran tiger was isolated from the mainland population and has since developed into the smallest subspecies of tiger. While the actual population is unknown, it is believed that only 100-400 Sumatran tigers survive today in the wild. However, two more now exist at the Dublin Zoo and they have a very doting mom.


A cub gets a bath, tiger-style. Mom's tongue = size of cub's head





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